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Deck of Dream Team

Marc Murphy – Deck of Dream Team 2013

After an injury-interrupted 2012 season, can Marc Murphy make the jump into the elite fantasy midfield stratum? Let’s dissect this premium’s card and see what his future holds…

dec21_murphyName: Marc Murphy
Club: Carlton
Position: MID
Assistant Coach 2013 Price: $522,000
Bye Round: 13
2012 Average: 100.8
2012 Games Played: 16
Predicted Average: 115


Why should I pick him?

Let’s make no bones about it – almost everyone reading this will agree that Marc Murphy is a gun. He is the lynch pin in a hi-po Carlton midfield. He has been skirting the periphery of the elite fantasy MID club since his stellar 2011 season when he averaged 111.4 ppg.

A breakdown of his 2011 season shows:

  • He dropped below the ton just six times in 22 games.
  • In 16 games where he bettered the ton, he posted 11 scores in excess of 110 ppg.

Following on from that, Murphy’s 2012 season got off to a flyer – he stepped out with 116, 115, 139, 114 and 117 in his first five games. Of course, we all know his shoulder was broken in Round 8 and he consequently missed seven weeks of football. He came back ahead of schedule and posted a very respectable average of 102.8 for the remaining eight games.

The point of all that number crunching is to highlight Murphy’s elite potential when he resumes in 2013 at full strength. Opening at $522k, he is slightly underpriced for a midfielder who is more than capable of returning consistent 110+ scores. His price point makes him a straightforward selection to slot in at M3, behind one or two top-dollar elites like Swan ($668k) and GAJ ($642k). Regular weekly returns of 120-130 can be expected from him. That’s the real beauty of this premo – while his ceiling may not be as high as Swan or Ablett, Murphy rarely hits deep troughs. Coaches can confidently pick him in their MIDs, sit back and collect.

His durability is also a strong point. While he came off the worse when he clashed with Dangerfield, it was more accidental than clumsy and prior to that he missed just one game in five years. He is a beefy unit and has the size to take the beatings and the tank to run for four quarters in every week of next season’s 23 rounds. While we obviously can’t predict the course of his health for the 2013 season, it is comforting to know that, at this point, he is one that you don’t have to have a contingency plan for with the exception for his R13 bye.


Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Murphy copped the opposition’s best tagger in quite a few games last season and it is reasonable to expect that this will be a regular occurrence in 2013. Bearing this in mind, there is a valid query around his inability to break the hard tag. Let’s have a look at a small sample from 2012…

Round Opposition (Tagger) Score
6 GWS (McDonald) 94
7 STK (Jones) 68
17 WB (Picken) 85
20 BL (Raines) 99
22 GCS (Stanley) 92
23 STK (Montagna) 76

While not a major negative, his output can be slowed somewhat by effective taggers. It’s hard to argue this case too heavily against him though, as most premium MIDs are susceptible to the occasional quiet game when marked closely.

While it’s doubtful that new coach Mick Malthouse will make any significant changes to Murphy’s role, it is cause for just a minor niggle. This will hopefully reveal itself in the pre-season. Of slightly more concern is how Bryce Gibbs may impact Murphy’s scores. Gibbsy was largely wasted last year, playing in numerous shutdown or tagging roles. He could, nay, should be fully utilised in the Carlton midfield and this might reduce the workload of Messers Murphy and Judd, possibly relieving them of a few disposals per game. Again, we’ll have some idea of Malthouse’s structure when the pre-season proper kicks off.

The possibility of taking on the captaincy adds an immeasurable unknown to Murphy. Some thrive on it while others sink under the weight of responsibility. Regardless of this factor, my expectation is for Murphy to step it up a notch and leading Carlton will add to his drive for success. At the least, his fantasy scoring should not regress in 2013.


Deck of DT Rating.

ACE – Although he is almost an elite MID, he has yet to establish himself in the upper echelons of fake footy superstardom. However, as a premium in his own right, it is realistic to expect that as he continues to improve his game, his fantasy scoring will do likewise and he will smash the glass ceiling to vault into the elite category. Whether he fits into your starting lineup depends on your mix of eight in the middle, but he is certainly worth consideration as a set-and-forget selection.


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